James Luceno
A Youtini Reading Guide
"What I thought would be a year's work has since turned into a career." - James Luceno

Star Wars Books You Should Read If You Like
James Luceno

It takes a gifted author to write in the Star Wars universe, and an even better one to pen projects from both Legends and Canon. By that measure, James Luceno is an incredible talent.

In the late 1990s, Luceno was first given the nod to work inStar Wars when he was brought on as a consultant for the New Jedi Order series. His work in other properties had convinced the higher ups at Del Rey that he was the right choice to craft the outline for the upcoming series. Luceno worked closely with other authors—and even George Lucas—to create the roadmap for the series, while also writing several of the installments himself.

However, Luceno’s impact goes far beyond the New Jedi Order. He has been entrusted with such important characters as Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, and Palpatine. He transformed Darth Plagueis’ story from one scene in Revenge of the Sith into a full-length novel. Not to mention, he helped one of his closest friends, Brian Daley, with many of the plot points in the Han Solo Adventures 

James Luceno is, perhaps, one of the most underappreciated figures in Star Wars. His fingerprints are all over the written material from one end of the timeline to the other, and it’s all the better because of it.

Check out some of Luceno’s hand-picked works below!

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Books in this Collection

The team at Youtini has hand-selected these books because they fit this theme.
Tarkinamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

Tarkin

James Luceno
14 BBY

Compared with other villainous characters in the Star Wars universe, very little is known about Grand Moff Tarkin. Yet he remains one of the most hated Imperials of all time. He’s the one who gave the command that left Alderaan in ruins. He is unsympathetic and menacing. A man of true evil.

Leave it to James Luceno to craft a Wilhuff Tarkin origin story audiences never knew they needed. Five years after the birth of the Empire, we meet a man who has yet to rise through the ranks to become the tyrant we know he will become. Tarkin’s refusal to let anyone or anything stand in his path will get him exactly where he wants to go … but not without cost.

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Catalyst: A Rogue One Novelamazon button
Adult Novel
Canon

Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

James Luceno
22 - 17 BBY

When Director Krennic arrives on Lah'mu to bring Galen Erso back into the arms of the Empire, he greets him as an old friend. While his nefarious motivations are clear to any viewer, we can't help but wonder...did this friendship truly exist?

Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel answers this question by introducing us to the two men as they both attempt to climb the professional ladder in their respective fields. Galen's obsession with kyber crystals proves to be an irresistible draw to Krennic as well as a distinct hindrance to the family life that Galen and Lyra are trying to create.

If you ever wondered how the most brilliant scientist in the galaxy could walk away from his life's dream in order to hide on a farm at the edges of the universe, this is exactly the place to start.

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Darth Plagueisamazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

Darth Plagueis

James Luceno
67-65, 54-52, 34-32 BBY

Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It's a sprawling tale that establishes several important origin stories for characters fans know well. Readers learn how Plagueis seduced Palpatine to the dark side and how their alliance led to the Sith apprentice’s ultimate betrayal of his master. This is how darkness truly began to rise.

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Labyrinth of Evil amazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

Labyrinth of Evil

James Luceno
19 BBY

Darth Sidious has expertly hidden his existence from the Jedi for many years. In Labyrinth of Evil, his elusiveness shines towards the end of the Clone Wars as his identity is being chased by Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.

While Anakin and Obi Wan are occupied with their intense mission, Count Dooku and General Grievous work on setting their master's next plans into motion. Author James Luceno uses this opportunity to offer us the backstories of these two villains before foreshadowing Anakin's fall to the dark side.

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Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader amazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader

James Luceno
19 BBY

Revenge of the Sith reveals the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker and the creation of Darth Vader as the cloaked titan screams “Nooooo” in agony before taking his side next to Darth Sidious as he accepts his fate.

Dark Lord: Rise of Darth Vader is what happens next.

Witness Darth Vader in his prime right after the events of Order 66 on his mission to hunt down the last known remaining Jedi.

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Millennium Falconamazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

Millennium Falcon

James Luceno
60, 19, 10, 5 BBY, 43 ABY

The Millennium Falcon is a treasure to Han Solo. It has been his companion since before he ever even met Luke, Leia, and the droids. But the Falcon still has some secrets of its own. When Allana Solo, Han’s granddaughter, finds a strange piece of alien tech aboard the vessel, Han is thrown into a mission to discover its mysteries. Along the way, he just might learn a thing or two about his ship as well…

James Luceno, celebrated Star Wars author, delivers another gem of a novel that treats the Millennium Falcon like what it truly is: another main character in the saga.

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Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trialamazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial

James Luceno
25 ABY

All wars create loss. Loss of life. Loss of friends. Loss of faith. For Han Solo, the Yuuzhan Vong war has handed him all of those losses together. Heart-broken by recent events, Han does what he knows best and isolates himself from the rest of the New Republic. Determined to live up to his last name, Han sets out on his own on a mission for vengeance. However, as he tries to leave the New Republic behind, he finds himself pulled right back in as he discovers a massive plot to undermine the government. 

As the third book in the New Jedi Order series and the first of James Luceno’s Agents of Chaos duology, this novel set the stage for a new phase of the Yuuzhan Vong war.

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The Unifying Force amazon button
Adult Novel
Legends

The Unifying Force

James Luceno
29 ABY

The Yuuzhan Vong near ultimate victory in their quest to conquer the galaxy. The floundering Alliance is on the brink of total collapse. Meanwhile, some of its greatest heroes have vanished in its most dire time of need. However, an uprising from among the Yuuzhan Vong’s own ranks and a strange new toxin known as Alpha Red offer a small ray of hope. As the final moves of the war are made, Luke, Han, and Leia are desperate to stop the Yuuzhan Vong and save their galaxy once and for all...no matter the cost.

With this novel, James Luceno takes readers on one final ride in the climactic conclusion of the lengthy New Jedi Order series.

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